Red Rydler & the summits of Mars

A space exploration poem by Johannes Beilharz

Dedicated to the one & only President Select*


Oh ye Martians!

Here I come
from the West
in search of
useful on this
godforsaken red
planet, and as
a byline big
things to shoot
down in the
great tradition
of Teddy Roose-
velt and Ernie

My rifle, my
trusted companion
along with my
Marspack, the
Bible and my
nanotight space
suit, not to
mention the
Hummer III
Mars edition
I'm riding on

Oh ye Mars
babes, here
I come

Able white
male to
improve your
genes, bring
you free trade,
the blessings
of democracy,
and have a
helluva good
time while
I'm at it

And should I
die I shall say,
with my
that I am
clear with my
god, and all
is well with
my soul

Red Rydler art by Joe Brainard (from a collage comic by Frank O'Hara and Joe Brainard, 1964)


*Refers to George W. Bush, who had won the 2000 presidential election by a disputed hair-thin margin in Florida.


Johannes Beilharz 2004, renewed 2021

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